Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja
The Federal Government on Tuesday launched the first edition of the Nigeria Annual Trade Policy Report, which was put together by the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations
The document was presented to the public by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah.
The report identifies the priorities in Nigeria’s trade policy and the use of trade policy as an instrument for structural transformation for diversification, modernisation, construction of regional and global value chains, welfare enhancement and job creation.
One of the main highlights of the report is the statistics, which will be used to monitor, assess and re-negotiate Nigeria’s trading relationship with her counterparts.
Statistics from the report indicated that trade activities (import and export) employed over 14 per cent or 10.8 million of the Nigerian workforce.
It also noted that trade accounted for 18 per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, second only to agriculture, which accounted for 29.1 per cent of the GDP.
Enalamah, in his comment at the event, stated that Nigeria must negotiate better than it had done in the past so that investors who seek market access in the country must link their investments to industrial activities.
This, he added, would enable the creation of regional and global value chains.
“Going forward, access to Nigeria’s markets must no longer be for free. No free market access. Investors who seek market access in Nigeria to sell their goods and services must invest and connect to our industrial and manufacturing activities,” the minister said.
On his part, the Director-General, NOTN, Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe, said his office would finalise the formulation of the Economic Diversification Index.
He stated that the EDI was being developed as a statistical measure that would enable greater rigour and precision in ascertaining by what degree the economy was being diversified away from oil receipts.
To achieve these goals, Osakwe noted that the NOTN would be investing in intensive training of trade negotiators and trade statisticians at world class levels.
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